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Ryan Clark: 'We Don't Have To Outplay Their Offense, We Have To Outplay Their Defense.'

Ryan Clark has come up with some big plays against the Baltimore Ravens since joining the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. Steeler Nation won’t soon forget the bone-crushing hit he made on Willis McGahee in the final moments of the Steelers’ victory over Baltimore in the ‘08 AFC Championship Game. Clark, despite recovering a crucial fumble in last week’s win, has been relatively quiet to start the year. That’s not to say he’s not playing solid ball, just that he’s yet to have one of his signature big-hits. Maybe he’s saving them for the rival Ravens this weekend.

Clark joined Fox Sports Radio in LA
earlier this week to talk about the important early-season matchup against the Ravens, and how he thinks it’s going to be a game of defense, defense and then some more hard-hitting defense.

On getting by the tough Ravens defense this coming weekend:

"They definitely do. They play good ball. But the thing about this game is as a defense, we need to out-perform their defense. That’s usually what this game comes down to. It’s always a physical matchup, it’s always a game where both teams play technically sound, it’s two well-coached teams. So it’s about which defense can make turnovers, which defense can set their offense up in the best position. And that’s what we feel like. We got into every game with Baltimore feeling like we don’t have to outplay their offense, we have to outplay their defense to put our offense in the best position to score, because you know it’s going to be a low-scoring, physical matchup. And we’re excited about that challenge. "

On just how well the defense is playing at this point:

"I think we’re doing okay. It’s still early in the season, still to early to tell. But the big thing we’ve been trying to work on is finishing games. We had that Atlanta game, we finished strong; Tennessee, they were able to score points in the 4th quarter, get an onside kick, we were able to stop them. So we’re just trying to finish games, and like I said, when you have can score 31 points on offense, and you can even score a touchdown on defense, you don’t have to hold them too low. But this week is going to be the real test, our first division game. I think the big reason why we didn’t make the playoffs last year is because we couldn’t win division games. This is important, it’s big, whether Ben’s playing quarterback or I’m playing quarterback or whoever, we need to win this game, and that’s the way we’re going at it."

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.